Dry rot (Serpula lacrymans) causes millions of pounds of damage to buildings every year and often goes unnoticed until major works are required to correct the damage. The deterioration of timber is always linked to a high moisture content. Despite defects in the structure of a building being identified and corrected, a wall can still act as a reservoir, holding moisture for several years to come. In these moist conditions timber absorbs water making it palatable to fungi and insects. Where moisture is present, dry rot can travel through the fabric of buildings seeking susceptible timber.
Dry rot sporophores, or fruiting bodies, produce millions of spores (an area the size of a postage stamp can produce 1.3 million spores). Once these germinate they penetrate timber forming fine hyphae. These mass to form mycelium and water-transporting strands which then wet new areas of timber and the growth spreads. Dry rot is a brown rot, it feeds off the flexible cellulose content of the timber leaving the brittle lignin behind, hence the remaining cracked cuboidal structure. Once established, new sporophores are formed and the process continues.
At Stonehouse the priority of our specialist surveyors is to precisely identify the decay. Species of wet rot are often misdiagnosed as dry rot – the presence of mycelium is not enough to confirm this type of decay.
Our surveyors then aim to find and eliminate the source of moisture. We can track the growth of dry rot and deploy carefully targeted chemical treatment to control and eradicate outbreaks in conjunction with lowering moisture levels.
Our operatives carry out exposure works to reveal damage and to remove decayed timber. We would then treat the affected area with boron-based fungicides and reinstate pre-treated and isolated timbers
To book a survey or if you have a question which needs our help please complete the following form or call 01491 577 560.